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Villa topography: Infrastructure and Imperial Villas

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Chapter Summary

The geographical distribution of villas in Italy was determined by several important factors, among them the convenience of various locations, the fertility of the land, and proximity to other kinds of commercially exploited natural resources. For example, in the Ager Veientanus (Monte Aguzzo) and Ager Faliscus (Monte Maggiore), the local basalt quarries (used for the paving of roads) were surrounded by the well appointed villas of those who exploited them commercially. But there were also other major factors determining villa-distribution, such as the presence of a good transportation infrastructure. Studies concerning the territory of Cosa presented a picture, dominated by the case of the villa at Settefinestre, of villas being abandoned in the late second and third centuries, but some of the data are being reconsidered and the entire idea of a villa crisis in the second century, together with the chronology of villas, needs to be reassessed.

Keywords: geographical distribution; infrastructure; Italy; Settefinestre; villas



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